With the Fed decision just one day away, followed the very next day by the increasingly more irrational BOJ, stocks had no desire to make significant moves and overnight's boring session was the result, as European stocks and U.S. index futures rose modestly but mostly hugged the flatline while Asian declined 0.2% for a third day as raw-material shares declined and Tokyo equities slumped before central bank meetings in the U.S. and Japan this week. China’s stocks rose the most in almost two weeks, up 0.6% but failed to rise above 3000 on the Shanghai Composite, in thin trading.
Two American F-22 Raptor 5G stealth fighter jets and a refueling aircraft have been deployed to an airfield in Romania as manifestation of NATO’s support to its Eastern European members against Russian aggression. “For the first time in Romania, the next-generation combat aircraft F-22 Raptor, part of the US Air Force Europe mission, arrived today at Mihail Kogalniceanu military base,” the US Embassy said on its Facebook page Monday.
This is what Pioneer Natural Resources just said in its press release: "expecting to add five to ten horizontal drilling rigs when the price of oil recovers to approximately $50 per barrel and the outlook for oil supply/demand fundamentals is positive."
After meandering steadily higher for the past week, and completely ignoring the negative newsflow out of the Doha meeting, today oil took an unexpected leg lower to 4-day lows, leaving many stumped: what caused this drop? The answer: it looks increasingly likely that the Kingdom is targeting another 0.5-m b/d of sales, bringing its production up to a steadier 11-m b/d or higher as it scramble to regain Chinese market share lost in recent months to Russia.
In spite of Ben Bernanke’s assurances to the contrary, it is clear that China still sees gold as money. Along with bolstering their gold holdings, China has reformed its banking system to be friendlier to gold trading.
- Obama sending more forces to Syria to consolidate gains against Islamic State (Reuters)
- Global stocks, dollar stumble ahead of Fed, BOJ meetings (Reuters)
- The Rise and Deadly Fall of Islamic State’s Oil Tycoon (WSJ)
- Oil Producers Lock In Once-Snubbed Prices (WSJ)
- Yellen's Scope for Summer Rate Hike Widens as ECB Signals a Hold (BBG)
- 11,000 jobs at risk as BHS teeters on brink (The Times)
One day before Obama visits Angela Merke in Germany to pitch the TTIP trade agreement, thousands of German protesters have once again come out on the streets of Hannover to say 'No' to the controversial TTIP US-EU trade deal. Many in Germany fear it will reduce consumer protection and undermine workers’ protection. In an interview with Bild, Obama said that "the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership is one of the best ways to promote growth and create jobs." Ironically, this comes just as support for the TTIP is tumbling on both sides of the Atlantic.
"In the post-Doha world, when we're still in what is essentially a free market for oil, the Russians will pump as much oil out as the market will absorb and the Saudis have said much the same thing."
A central tenet in the thesis by analysts about the oil markets rebalancing has been that as prices declined, oil companies would be forced into bankruptcy. That in turn would lead to declining production, and eventually a rebalancing of supply and demand in the market, followed by higher prices. That process is already taking longer than many expected, and it looks like more time is needed. That additional time to balance the market is being driven by an unexpected factor; bankrupt oil companies are still pumping.
As the Richmond Times Dispatch reports, Governor Terry McAuliffe today signed an order to restore voting rights to more than 200,000 convicted felons in Virginia. The order applies to nonviolent and violent felons, and according to a confidential draft of research for the order obtained by the Richmond Times Dispatch, is authorized under the Constitution of Virginia. Why this surprising announcement now? As Reuters says, the "move that could help the Democratic nominee in November's presidential election."
Are we done being fooled? I sure hope so.
Kerrisdale Capital's Sahm Adrangi is no stranger to stirring up notoriety and self-promoting publicity if it helps generate inbound capital or profits. Back in 2013 New York magazine's spellbound Kevin Roose wrote an extended profile of the then-32 year old hedge fund manager and prominent short seller, describing him as "the hedge-fund world’s first full-on social-media-savvy investor can move markets with the flick of a tweet." Fast forward to today when we learn that Adrangi has synthesized all these components into his latest marketing gimmick: as Reuters reports Kerrisdale has raised approximately $100 million from investors to bet against a single stock.
US Government "Agrees In Principle" With Volkswagen's $10 Billion-plus 'Sorry-We-Cheated' Compensation PlanSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 04/21/2016 11:23 -0400
Judge Charles Breyer has confirmed that Volkswagen's $10 billion-plus plan to resolve claims by the U.S. government and lawsuits by American car owners over its pollution-cheating debacle has been 'agreed in principle' by the Justice Department and various other US agencies. The plan covers at least 480,000 cars in the US and over 600 lawsuits offering consumers flexibility including buybacks and "substantial compensation," but does not address fines or penalties.
There is going to have to be "a recalibration of our relationship with America," former Saudi Intelligence Chief Prince Turki Al-Faisal told CNN's Christiane Amanpour. "How far we can go with our dependence on America, how much can we rely on steadfastness from American leadership, what is it that makes for our joint benefits to come together," Turki said in a significant departure from usual Saudi rhetoric. "These are things that we have to recalibrate."